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22 June 1995
Derailed in Uncle Ho’s Victory Garden: Return to Vietnam and Cambodia 
by Tim Page.
Touchstone, 248 pp., £14.99, April 1995, 0 671 71926 2
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In the Lake of the Woods 
by Tim​ O’Brien.
Flamingo, 306 pp., £5.99, April 1995, 0 00 654395 2
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In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam 
by Robert McNamara.
Random House, 432 pp., $27.50, April 1995, 0 8129 2523 8
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... recently published books whose central themes revolve around Vietnam, the war and its consequences. Each, in his own way, is introducing us to his own ghosts. Two, former British war photographer TimPage and former American grunt Tim O’Brien, face the darkness squarely. The third, former US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara, merely pretends to. In his own way, however, each writer tells the ...

At the Gay Hussar

John Sutherland

20 August 1981
One and Last Love 
by John Braine.
Eyre Methuen, 175 pp., £6.50, June 1981, 0 413 47990 0
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Sweetsir 
by Helen Yglesias.
Hodder, 332 pp., £6.95, August 1981, 9780340270424
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On the Yankee Station 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 184 pp., £7.95, July 1981, 0 241 10426 2
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Byzantium endures 
by Michael Moorcock.
Secker, 404 pp., £6.95, June 1981, 0 436 28458 8
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Heavy Sand 
by Anatoli Rybakov, translated by Harold Shuckman.
Allen Lane, 380 pp., £7.95, June 1981, 0 7139 1343 6
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... At some point it must have crossed Braine’s mind to call his latest novel ‘Love at the Top’. The hero is Tim Harnforth, a 56-year-old best-selling novelist and man of letters. Originally from the West Riding, he is now one of the gens du monde, ‘a high-flyer, a metropolitan man’, literary-lioning it in ...

Not Enjoying Herself

Jenny Diski: Princess Margaret

16 August 2007
Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled 
by Tim​ Heald.
Weidenfeld, 346 pp., £20, July 2007, 978 0 297 84820 2
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... in her youth. Big beautiful eyes, good bones, a serious nose, a large, modern mouth and a figure to die for. Short though. A pocket Venus, they called her, barely five feet tall. But, according to Tim Heald, her latest biographer, who has previously committed to paper the lives of Brian Johnston,2 Denis Compton,3 Barbara Cartland4 and Prince Philip,5like the other four biographical subjects she ...

Wild-Eyed and Ready to Die

Mary Hawthorne: Dawn Powell

22 February 2001
The Diaries of Dawn Powell 1931-65 
edited by Tim Page.
Steerforth, 513 pp., $19, October 1999, 1 883642 25 6
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... For more than thirty years, until her death in 1965, Dawn Powell lived and worked ceaselessly in Greenwich Village. She produced 15 novels, set in Manhattan or the small towns of her native Ohio, half a dozen plays, more than a hundred short stories and countless reviews and magazine articles (she regarded her work for Mademoiselle and the New Yorker with equal disdain). I had lived in Greenwich Village ...

Tucked in and under

Jenny Turner: Tim​ Parks

30 September 1999
Destiny 
by Tim​ Parks.
Secker, 249 pp., £15.99, September 1999, 0 436 22088 1
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... Can this beautiful young model be thinking?’ Tim Parks asks at one point in this book. ‘One hopes not,’ the argument continues, as Parks’s narrator looks through an airline magazine, ‘You do not think, I thought, seeing pictures of people ...

The Global Id

John Lanchester: Is Google a good thing?

26 January 2006
The Google Story 
by David Vise.
Macmillan, 326 pp., £14.99, November 2005, 1 4050 5371 2
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The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture 
by John Battelle.
Nicholas Brealey, 311 pp., £16.99, September 2005, 1 85788 361 6
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... multi-billion-dollar company in the world that is also a spelling mistake. Back in the palaeolithic era (that’s the palaeolithic era in the internet sense, i.e. autumn 1997) its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, were graduate computer science students at Stanford. They were working on an insanely cool new search engine, wanted to incorporate it as a company, and needed to find a name. David ...
22 August 1996
A Perfect Execution 
by Tim​ Binding.
Picador, 344 pp., £15.99, May 1996, 0 330 34564 8
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... Tim Binding is a confident writer. His paragraphs, lengthy but under control, take swift possession of the thick sheaf of pages, imposing form. The narrative voice is modestly assertive. There is a tale ...
8 March 1990
The Uses of Adversity 
by Timothy Garton Ash.
Granta, 352 pp., £5.99, September 1989, 0 14 014018 2
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... anybody in today’s Czechoslovakia whose moral integrity, perception, clarity of thinking and humane qualities would fulfil the required standards better than Vaclav Havel. But how about this – Tim Garton Ash writing about the Czech Chartists in 1984? If ever a real thaw comes – from above? after change in Moscow? – they will be ready with their busts of Tomas Masaryk, their editions of ...

Sisters

John Sutherland

4 June 1981
Tit for Tat 
by Verity Bargate.
Cape, 167 pp., £5.95, April 1981, 0 224 01908 2
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Watching Me, Watching You 
by Fay Weldon.
Hodder, 208 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 340 25600 1
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Maggie Muggins 
by Keith Waterhouse.
Joseph, 220 pp., £6.95, May 1981, 0 7181 2014 0
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Mr Lonely 
by Eric Morecambe.
Eyre Methuen, 189 pp., £5.95, March 1981, 0 413 48170 0
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... amiable mother and abused by a drunken stockbroker stepfather, Jock (Ms Bargate likes a meaningful name). Grown up, she is seduced and bullied into a septic abortion by her timid, clap-ridden fiancé Tim. He changes his mind, but too late: Sadie is sterile. Tim, now a selfish husband, knows this, but lets the ignorant heroine attend the infertility clinic for a year before some friendly lady ...
7 January 1993
Reflections on Monetarism 
by Tim​ Congdon.
Edward Elgar, 320 pp., £35, November 1992, 1 85278 441 5
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... This book brings together the ‘most important academic papers and journalism’ of Professor Tim Congdon, described in the blurb as ‘one of the City’s most well-known commentators’. Congdon’s provocative thesis is that ‘monetarism’, as adopted by British governments between 1976 and ...

Who’s Got the Moxie?

A. Craig Copetas

23 March 1995
The Mexican Tree Duck 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 247 pp., £15.99, May 1994, 0 330 32451 9
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One to Count Cadence 
by James Crumley.
Picador, 338 pp., £5.99, May 1994, 0 330 32450 0
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... are often obscured by the area’s remoteness from the rest of the country. Montana and Idaho took off in the late Sixties, when real estate was cheap, plentiful and luring the likes of Tom McGuane, Tim Cahill, Jeff Bridges, Peter Fonda and the late Seymor Lawrence. Frontier towns like Livingston and Boulder Creek are today about as close as you can get to a nursing home for Sixties’ veterans and ...

Gertrude

Graham Hough

18 September 1980
Nuns and Soldiers 
by Iris Murdoch.
Chatto, 505 pp., £6.50, September 1980, 0 7011 2519 5
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Collin 
by Stefan Heym.
Hodder, 315 pp., £7.95, August 1980, 0 340 25721 0
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An Inch of Fortune 
by Simon Raven.
Blond and Briggs, 176 pp., £5.95, June 1980, 0 85634 108 8
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Virgin Kisses 
by Gloria Nagy.
Penguin, 221 pp., £1.25, July 1980, 0 14 005506 1
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... and secure? At all events, what Gertrude does has nothing to do with her friends and their expectations. Among the circle is a youngish protégé of Guy’s, almost his ward – a painter, Tim Reede. A painter without enough talent or enough dedication, a drop-out, a scrounger, a lost soul, treated with half-contemptuous tolerance by the rest of the friends and relations. He is likeable ...

Dangerous Faults

Frank Kermode

4 November 1993
Shear 
by Tim​ Parks.
Heinemann, 214 pp., £13.99, August 1993, 0 434 57745 6
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... This is Tim Parks’s sixth novel. He has also done some serious translation – Moravia, Calvino, Calasso’s The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony – and written a lively book about his life in Italy. And now ...

Tight in the Cockpit

Joanna Kavenna: Tim​ Parks’s ‘The Rapids’

5 May 2005
Rapids 
by Tim​ Parks.
Secker, 246 pp., £15.99, March 2005, 0 436 20559 9
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... Tim Parks’s latest novel opens in the forests of the South Tyrol, where a group of white-water enthusiasts are taking a kayaking holiday. The river is overflowing with melt water from a thawing glacier ...

Bats in Smoke

Emily Gould: Tim​ Parks

2 August 2012
Teach Us to Sit Still: A Sceptic’s Search for Health and Healing 
by Tim​ Parks.
Vintage, 335 pp., £8.99, July 2011, 978 0 09 954888 1
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The Server 
by Tim​ Parks.
Harvill Secker, 288 pp., £16.99, May 2012, 978 1 84655 577 0
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... At some point in his mid-forties, the novelist Tim Parks developed a terrible pain, near-constant and located in embarrassing places: his lower abdomen and crotch. ‘I had quite a repertoire of pains at this point: a general smouldering tension ...

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